Do not delay (Dan 9:17-9:19)

“Now therefore!

O our God!

Listen to the prayer

Of your servant!

Listen to his supplications!

For your own sake!

O Lord!

Let your face

Shine upon

Your desolated sanctuary!

O my God!

Incline your ear!

Hear!

Open your eyes!

Look at our desolation!

Look at the city

That bears your name!

We do not present

Our supplications

Before you

On the ground

Of our righteousness,

But on the ground

Of your great mercies.

O Lord!

Hear!

O Lord!

Forgive!

O Lord!

Listen!

Act!

Do not delay!

For your own sake,

O my God,

Because your city,

Your people,

Bear your name.”

Daniel finished up this prayer with a demand that the Lord God act right away and not delay. He wanted God to see and listen to his prayers and supplications, not because of their righteousness, but for the sake of his name and his great mercy. He wanted God to see their desolated sanctuary. He wanted God to see what was happening to the city that bore his name. He wanted God to see, hear, listen, forgive, act, and not delay.

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We have not followed the law (Dan 9:9-9:11)

“To the Lord!

Our God!

Belong mercy!

Belong forgiveness!

We have rebelled

Against him.

We have not obeyed

The voice of Yahweh,

Our God,

By following his laws,

That he set

Before us,

By his servants,

The prophets.

All Israel

Has transgressed

Your law.

They have turned aside

From it.

They refuse

To obey your voice.

Thus,

The curse,

With the oath written

In the law of Moses,

The servant of God,

Has been poured out

Upon us,

Because we have sinned

Against you.”

Daniel asked his Lord God to bring mercy and forgiveness because they had rebelled against him. They had not obeyed the voice of Yahweh, their God. They had not followed his laws that he set before them, through his servant prophets. All Israel had transgressed God’s law, because they turned away from it. They had refused to obey God’s voice. Thus, they ended up with the curse and the oath written in the law of Moses, the servant of God. This curse was poured out on them, because they had sinned against God.

Allegories (Ezek 20:49-20:49)

“Then I said.

‘Ah Lord God!

They are saying

Of me.

‘Is he not

A maker

Of allegories?’”

Ezekiel either finished this chapter or started a new chapter by complaining to the Lord God that people were making fun of him. They thought that he was making up these allegories or riddles.

The failure of the Babylonian gods (Isa 46:1-46:2)

“Bel bows down.

Nebo stoops.

Their idols are on beasts.

Their idols are on cattle.

These things you carry

Are loaded

Like burdens on weary animals.

They stoop.

They bow down together.

They cannot save the burden.

But they themselves

Go into captivity.”

Second Isaiah talks about the failure of the Babylonian gods. Bel or Bel-Marduk was the chief god of the Babylonians. He was like the lord god. Nebo or Nabu was the son of Marduk, a Babylonian god that was a scribe or wise person. Both of them failed. They had to bow down and stoop before others. These gods had to be carried away on the backs of beasts and animals, since they were incapable of helping themselves as they went into captivity.

Tobit wants Tobias to seek good advice from men and God (Tob 4:18-4:19)

“Seek advice from every wise person.

Do not despise any useful counsel.

At all times,

Bless the Lord God.

Ask him that your ways may be made straight.

Ask him so that all your paths and plans may prosper.

For none of the nations has understanding.

The Lord himself will give them good counsel.

However, if he chooses otherwise,

He casts down to deepest Hades.

So, now, my son,

Remember these commandments.

Do not let them be erased from your heart.”

Tobit wants his son Tobias to seek advice from wise men. He was not to dismiss this wise counsel. More important, and at all times, he was to bless the Lord God. He was to ask God to make his ways straight so that he might prosper. No country will be successful without God’s counsel. However, he can cast countries down to Hades. Finally, Tobit wants his son to remember these commandments in his heart, never forgetting or erasing them.